Easy Homemade Cheesecake [Recipe]

Ah, it feels good to be back!  My poor blog hasn’t had any new treats on it for a while; I always love the feeling of new, crisp photos up on the blog showing off my latest efforts in the kitchen.

Cheesecake… I wish I had something more magical to say about it, but really… You put the words “Cheese” and “Cake” together into one, and that pretty much says it all.

Here’s how to make a fantastic, simple, BEAUTY of a cake.  This tutorial was made while I baked 3 cakes, actually, and I did a couple of different sizes.  So, you will notice, some of the pictures show one type of cheesecake pan, and the others show a different one.  The darker pan is a 9″, a regular sized cheesecake, and the lighter pan is an 8″, for a taller, thicker cake, as displayed in the final pictures of this post.  (If that was at all confusing, just use an 8″ springform pan if you want your cake to look like mine when you cut it.)

Oh, also, before I get into this:  Please note that the filling is gluten free, but the crust is not.  So if you have a gluten free cookie or crust recipe, you can bake it in the base of the pan first, and then just pour the filling over top, and bake as directed in the recipe.  Then, voila!  Gluten free cheesecake.  🙂

Here’s the recipe!


Easy Homemade Cheesecake 
For 1 8″ or 9″ cheesecake, serving 12-16.

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar

Filling:
1 c. sugar
24 oz. (3 pkgs.) cream cheese, softened
1 c. sour cream
3 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla

First, assemble your ingredients.  It always makes it easier when you do!  Next, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry crust ingredients.  Melt the butter, and mix it in until the mixture is well combined.  Press into the base of an 8″ or 9″ springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, and then beat in the eggs until smooth and well combined.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.

Pour the filling over the crust.

Next, set a pan with a bit of water in it on the bottom shelf of your oven, just below where the cheesecake will sit.
Place the cake on the rack above the water and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the center of the cake is set (jiggle the pan a little to test it).  
Turn off the oven and allow the cake to sit in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven, and refrigerate until cold.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it and remove the side of the pan.  Place the cake on a serving plate, cut into slices, and serve.  Top with mixed frozen berries or your favourite topping.

Tip:  The berries are best served slightly thawed, so that the juices run down the sides a bit, and they’re easier to eat.

Note:  Recently, a bunch of my cheesecakes have been leaking melted butter from the crust out the base of the pan.  This doesn’t make the cheesecake any less delicious, don’t worry – I just don’t know why this happens sometimes, and sometimes not.  In my expert opinion, I say it’s just plain weird.  My preventative recommendations for this problem are as follows:
1)  The water below the cheesecake will catch melted butter and prevent it from making a burned mess in your oven.
2)  You can also wrap the outside of the pan with foil before you bake the cake.  This will catch the butter, but in my experience, the butter sometimes still leaks, just into the foil instead of into your oven.

Note #2:  If you are a *real* expert and you know why this happens, please, please, please comment and enlighten me with your wisdom.  Predictable cheesecakes are way more rewarding than the occasionally “My oven smells like burned butter” variety.  I would love to know what you have to say.

Ta da!  Enjoy!  As usual, let me know if you make it – I’d love to hear your success stories.    
Back soon,
–Naomi
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8 Comments »

  1. I made this today, it was fabulous. It was my first attempt at making cheesecake and I am so glad I found this recipe. THANK YOU 🙂

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  2. This was also my first attempt at cheesecake, and I was making it for a birthday so I was feeling the pressure! I topped it with a freshly picked blueberry sauce, and it was amazing! Thanks for posting!

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  3. Good question! Putting water in the oven provides moisture, prevents the cake from burning, and also (if you have my luck with cheesecakes), it will catch any butter that leaks from the pan and save your oven from a world of trouble. 😉

    All the best!

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  4. This is a superb recipe. It was my first cheesecake attempt and we were blown away by the flavour. My 4 year old and 11 year old were instant devotees. My 4 year old rubs her tummy and says ‘deeeelicious’ when it’s mentioned in conversation. Also great because it’s flexible but a totally reliable base. Thanks, and well done on a nicely put together recipe.

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